You can call me a determined dreamer. Right after college, I immediately joined the work force to start a career of my own. Like all college graduates, I have set several time-restricted goals which are mostly unrealistic.
June 2013. I started working as a Technology Consultant in one of the world’s well-known multinational information technology companies here in the Philippines. I accepted the offer without any inkling of how it will affect my long-term goals. After all, I was too ecstatic. Having a job equates to independence (cue: my personal anthem) and independence means power.
The first few months at my first job was the happiest. I was a baby, knowing nothing about the world, merely listening to the seniors at work. Unix. SQL. IT Life cycle. Project Management. Data Warehousing. Migration to Production. These were my favorite words back then. Enthusiastic as I was, I immediately set my personal monthly goals that I need to accomplish at work. Every time I finish a goal, I always crave for more. I have always been needy for achievements/accomplishments, ever since I was a kid. Growing up, my parents have always set high expectations for me. It was always about getting the perfect grades, or getting the highest honor. At school, I was bullied. Negra. Baluga. Laki ng bibig. (“Dark-skinned, Big-mouthed”). Those were just some of the names, hurtful and mean. And at that moment, I knew that I have to be the best. I have to prove to everyone that I am greater than what they imagined me to be. But it was not that easy.
As I slowly gained tenure at work, expectations become higher and work becomes more stressful. There were times when I felt like giving up. Everyone does. I was working beyond the normal working hours. I knew I was not accomplishing anything personally. I was not happy. Work had become a painful process. A part of me asked why am I doing this to myself. And I will always respond back, I need this for my long-term goals. I need this for my future. But what will be my future be if I was not happy?
The denials continue. Days turned into weeks. Weeks turned into months. Little did I know, I was half the person I was. That made me realize I have to take action before it was too late. I knew it was time.
Project Management, despite its beauty & madness, has taken its toll on me. I wanted more. I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to be happy.
Early 2015. I started looking for another job. And God, it was not easy at all. I used to think I can ace the job interviews. After all, I graduated from the top university in the country. I was highly-skilled. I was one of the best employees at work, my previous manager can vouch for that. But it did not lead me to job offers or even to the next round of interviews. I was too confident.
I was losing hope. But I know life is beautiful not only because of all the good things it can offer, but the bad as well. I worked harder. I reinvented myself – how I think, how I act, how I see myself. And I see a flicker of change, glowing bright slowly but surely.
July 2015. I landed an interview at one of the top management consulting firms in the world. Who would have thought? The whole day interview was nerve-racking. I remembered trying my best to exude poise and wit as they asked question after question. Case interviews. Interviews. Technical exams. I knew then I might not make the cut. But a day after, surprise! I got a call from the recruiting team, offering me a job. After quite a while, it made me happy. I did it. Finally.
And now, a year after I changed jobs, I am at my happiest.
I love my job. I love the firm. I love the team. I love the mindset of the people I have worked with. And in more ways than I imagined, it changed me for the better.
Sometimes, you truly have to take risks, to assess yourself, to admit something’s wrong to finally see the light. And I am glad I did.